April 6, 2010

Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz Locked Up For The Next Five Seasons

With Josh Beckett avoiding free agency and signing an extension yesterday, the Red Sox has four-fifths of its current rotation under contract or club control for the next five years.

Theo Epstein:
Knowing we have Josh and Jon Lester and John Lackey and Clay Buchholz all signed through 2014, there's no guarantees in baseball, but it should mean that we have outstanding starting pitching for that period. That's the building block on which we can go about finishing off the rest of the club.
In addition, Daisuke Matsuzaka is signed through 2012 and top pitching prospect Casey Kelly is starting the year in Portland (AA).

Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Bard are under contract through 2015 and Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury are under contract for the next four seasons (through 2013). It's a hell of a foundation!

Theo, on going four more years with Beckett:
No change in philosophy. I still believe shorter (contracts) is better. I still believe in avoiding risk, but I also believe we operate in the real world, not some fantasy world where you can pick the type of player and contract that you want to sign. You don't get to pick and choose.
A few days after spring training began, Kevin Youkilis yelled out to his teammates:
Can we score a bunch of runs on Opening Night so we don't have to hear about this [alleged unavoidable offensive drought] anymore?
Yook did his part, becoming the first Red Sox player to have three extra-base hits (two doubles, one triple) on Opening Day in almost three decades. Carlton Fisk hit two home runs and a double on April 6, 1973, also at Fenway and also against the Yankees (a 15-5 win).

Pedro Martinez said when the Red Sox suggested having him throw out the first pitch of the season, "right away I got turned on by it. I guess they wanted to give a surprise gift to the fans and to the Yankees, and they felt I would be one of the biggest surprises."

Jerry Remy is doing well:
I feel like myself again. I put the weight back on that I lost. I feel strong, and mentally I'm doing well. ... [2009] was just a year I'd like to forget ...
Ryan Westmoreland attended Opening Night with his parents in Theo Epstein's luxury box. A club press release stated Westmoreland has made "significant gains" since his surgery on March 16. His father, Ron: "[H]e's trying to get back to a point where he can live a normal life. If baseball is in the cards, it's a bonus. Right now, we're just concentrating on quality of life."

Pawtucket: Boof Bonser gets the ball in Pawtucket's season opener on Thursday. Matsuzaka will start on Saturday.

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